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Bill Clinton on Rwanda: "I express regret over my personal failure."

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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:15 AM
Original message
Bill Clinton on Rwanda: "I express regret over my personal failure."
KIGALI, Rwanda (Reuters) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, visiting a Rwandan genocide memorial on Saturday, expressed regret for his "personal failure" to prevent the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 people.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/africa/07/23/clinton.rwanda.reut/index.html

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Clark was almost alone in pushing for a humanitarian intervention in Rwanda.

Pulitzer award winning Samantha Power from her book "A Problem from Hell" : America and the Age of Genocide "

"Clark frantically telephoned around the Pentagon for insight into the ethnic dimension of events in Rwanda. Unfortunately, Rwanda had never been of more than marginal concern to Washington's most influential planners" (p. 330) .

"Lieutenant General Wesley Clark looked to the White House for leadership.'The Pentagon is always going to be the last to want to intervene,' he says. 'It is up to the civilians to tell us they want to do something and we'll figure out how to do it.' But with no powerful personalities or high-ranking officials arguing forcefully for meaningful action, midlevel Pentagon officials held sway, vetoing or stalling on hesitant proposals put forward by midlevel State Department and NSC officials" (p. 373).

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"I met Wes Clark in 1995, while he served as the U.S. military representative on a high-level negotiating team attempting to bring peace to Bosnia. We met just hours before he and his colleagues were setting out for the Bosnian capitol city of Sarajevo via a treacherous mountain road. In the hopes of evading hostile fire, the convoy raced around the steep curves, and the lead vehicle tumbled off the road into a ravine. Clark who had already received a Purple Heart in Vietnam risked his life to try to rescue his colleagues. He tied a rope around his waist, and repelled down the side of the mountain laced with landmines toward the burning vehicle. Three Americans lost their lives that day.

During his career in U.S. Army, Wes Clark consistently revealed a rare courage. In addition to risking his life to save others, he also risked his career, by leading the fight to convince the Clinton Administration to use military force to prevent genocide in Kosovo. He understands that the United States has the power to change the world and he understands the great responsibility that comes with this power. "
-Samantha Power

http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=503

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bluedeminredstate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Isn't it bracing to hear
a former POTUS express personal failures? Eat it up - you won't hear any such sentiment coming from the current occupant of the WH!

:applause:
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Excellent point.
What a difference in maturity, humanity, and leadership compared to the current occupant of the white house, who sees admitting failure as a sign of weakness.
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DU9598 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Just last night
For the first time I watched Hotel Rwanda. It is amazing to ready this article today helping me put some of the thoughts racing through my mind at ease. I was concerned that President Clinton would make excuses for not taking action. I am glad that he is speaking out on this genocide so that perhaps the next time this happens we will not allow our leaders to ignore it.

Thanks for sharing.
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. go Bubba!
Now that's character. Plus pumping Clark is good.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. "I did not have foreign relations with Rwanda"
Personally, I'm getting a little tired of apologies from Clinton, at least with regard to policy decisions. It just looks weak, and it feeds the impression that Democrats are just a bunch of wusses.
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